Make the Most of Your Résumé

By , February 28, 2010

It’s important to keep your resume up to date for several reasons beyond job hunting. It takes work to focus on the work you do, and then to sell it to others. It’s your most important sales letter and you need to be very familiar with it.

Connecting with Where You Are

When you review your resume, you have to closely consider what you do. Look at the work you choose to do. Note what you love about it. Those details will provide you the selling points you need to include in your sales document, your resume.

A Good Time to Evaluate

Ask yourself: Is this the work I meant to do? It’s easy to get caught up in a project and pulled in different directions to make it all come together.  For the moment, dismiss the “Other Duties as Assigned” and focus on the main reason for you choosing the work you do. Is it what you really want to be doing? Get to the answer.

Consider the other-duties-as-assigned parts of your job and ask two more questions. Do you spend more time on these tasks? And the more important question is: Do you like them better than your title? You want to be sure you’re selling what you happy provide.

Switching Gears

I was an administrative assistant for many years. I noticed that I didn’t really care for the secretarial aspect so much as the other duties. What attracted me was the writing, the software updates, training, audio visual work, reviewing other people’s documents, and group projects. Of them all, writing was my favorite. Whether it was writing a contract or an introduction letter, or a one hundred twenty word magazine ad, I was up for it.

So, I focused on writing. It took me years to let go of the Administrative Assistant job searches because I didn’t hate the job. There’s a lot of good feelings associated with being a facilitator, which is what I see that job as. And all the different tasks gave me the opportunity to find out what I really wanted to be doing—writing.

Make Your Point Relevant

Today, no one has just one resume. That’s because workers are expected to excel at many different tasks. And, we take advantage of years of being pushed into other duties as assigned by adding it to our resume. To make the most of the resume, always customize it to accentuate the skills that are germane to the job you’re pursuing.

A Caveat

It should go without saying, but it’s always worth reminding people to not lie. You want to dress up your resume in it’s best verbiage. And it’s important to use your action words, and show off the specific skills you have that a company wants. Integrity and personal ethics are ultimately your most important selling points. To undermine your own credibility with a lie is a great way to put yourself out of the running for good things you want. Don’t lie. Sell what you can back up.

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